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How many musicians fit on the head of a pin?

For June 2013 at Spirit of Rasputin’s the answer is 27. In numerology 27 symbolizes “light in darkness” since the lunar sidereal month is 27 days. And 27 (is this a coincidence??) is the number of musicians taking the stage this month at three enlightening SoR events.

Saturday June 8, 7:30p
6th Annual Amnesty International Ottawa Opry

St. Martin’s Church, 2120 Prince Charles Road (Google map… (https://maps NULL.380626,-75 NULL.768469&z=14&t=m&hl=en-US))
Tickets $20 in advance online here (http://www NULL.patmoore NULL.html) or $22 at the door

Joining Pat Moore and the Vinyl Frontier on stage are: Keith Glass who has just released a new CD, and is taking time from his launch tour to join us!; Amanda Bon, Ottawa’s sweetheart of the folk-country scene, and just releasing her second CD; Kate & Hollis, well known for their Appalachian style harmonies; and Maple Hill, a popular award winning bluegrass band. (That’s 12 musicians…)

Thanks to Platinum Sponsor Tracy Arnett Realty, the Ottawa Opry has donated close to $10K to Amnesty. More info…

Saturday June 15, 7:30p
Rasputin’s Beard

Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Pass-the-hat in support of in support of the Ottawa Food Bank
Featuring Salton Sea, J.P. Ranger Band, and Lost Colt (three great quartets)
Our June “Beard” always focuses on families in need and the vital work the Ottawa Food Bank performs. Donations always drop off in the summer season but the need for food doesn’t change. So we try to provide as much of the one thing the Food Bank needs to fill any gap: money. All the musicians donate their time and talent. So please join us for an excellent and diverse evening of music and help us to give a little back to the community. More info…

Sunday June 23, 3p
Cabaret Matinee

Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Featuring Call Me Katie
Tickets $7 at the door (kids 14 and under are free)
Featuring the dynamic voice of Sarah Hill, a veteran of bands in Ontario and the Maritimes, Call Me Katie swings from sweet ballads to driving up-tempo pieces. Hill contributes fiddle as well, while award-winning poet Monty Reid sings and plays guitar and mandolin. Mike Rivoche, with groups such as the Howlin C’s and the Black Donnellys in his twangy past, holds everything together with rock-solid bass lines and chips in with harmony vocals. More info…
(if you’re keeping score, that’s 27!)

Spirit of Rasputin’s Open Stage (7p Mondays at Whispers) and Folk-along Jam (Tuesdays 7p at the Georgetown) continue weekly all summer. All our concert series resume in September with a Beard, October with Rick Fines, and November with…wait for it…Valdy!!

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Brock Zeman in Concert with special guest Queen Elizabeth II

Canadians celebrate the Queen’s Official Birthday on the first Monday before May 25 because the weather is better. Really…that’s the official reason. So, since good weather is sufficient for a celebration, let’s celebrate Brock Zeman’s fabulous music this Saturday night. The forecast is promising:

  • nine albums in his 32 years on the planet…and his own record label (Mud Records)
  • performed with Steve Earle, Lynn Miles, Fred Eaglesmith, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Toby Keith, Prairie Oyster, the Rodeo Kings…and others
  • we have beer and wine…and cookies
  • there’s a portrait of Her Majesty on the east wall at Westboro Masonic Hall

It’s not really Her birthday (real birthday: April 21), so we invited Her Majesty to join us on Saturday for a song or two with Brock before She dashes off to other Commonwealth celebrations later in the weekend. Unfortunately we learned she will be away at Her cottage planting tomatoes.

Nevertheless, please join us and the Queen’s portrait for an evening with Brock Zeman, a rising star from Carleton Place. You may already have heard Brock around town in some noisy bar. But this guy writes songs. Good songs with great lyrics. This is a unique chance to enjoy Brock Zeman in the “Spirit of Rasputin’s Listening Environment” with the fabulous acoustics at Westboro Masonic Hall.

What: Brock Zeman in Concert (more info…)
When: Saturday, May 18, 8:00pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron (Google map… (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=56,-96&sspn=66 NULL.457424,214 NULL.277344&oq=West&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16))
Tickets: $20 at the door or online here… (https://www NULL.paypal

See you there,

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

April…the remedy for cabin fever!

Starting this Friday Apr 12th and continuing right up to Wednesday May 1st, many Spirit of Rasputin’s volunteers are working flat out to put on several events in a row. As well as organizing three events of our own, many of us are also volunteering at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival organized by SoR member Bob Nesbitt. April always seems to be our busiest month. It’s a Canadian thing. Having finished chipping away the last of the winter ice, it’s time to go out and celebrate! And what a choice we have in the next few weeks! There’s something for everyone: song writers, entire families, old song buffs, and graduates of the protest generation. Here’s the lineup:

The Great Canadian Song-a-Long

Friday Apr 12 & Saturday Apr 13
NOTE: Start time 7:00pm both nights
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron (Map… (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=49 NULL.891235,-97 NULL.15369&sspn=45 NULL.618131,114 NULL.169922&oq=Westboro&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16))
No advance tickets: Pass-the-hat to pay the rent.
Songwriters are invited to compose a song to one of several predefined set of topics. This year’s topics are: a good finish, nice try, fences, crooked line, a nonsense song. More info…

Finest Kind

Saturday Apr 20, 8:00pm
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron (Map… (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=49 NULL.891235,-97 NULL.15369&sspn=45 NULL.618131,114 NULL.169922&oq=Westboro&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16))
Tickets: $25 online here (https://www NULL.paypal and at the Ottawa Folklore Centre.
Finest Kind is the remarkable folk trio from Ottawa whose exquisite harmony singing and brilliant vocal arrangements are bringing a fresh sense of excitement and discovery to the performance of old songs. This show is selling very well in advance and may sell out so get your tickets now.

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival

Saturday Apr 27 & Sunday Apr 28
Rideau Curling Club, 715 Cooper St, corner of Percy. (Map…) (https://maps,+715+Cooper+Street,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&ll=45 NULL.412943,-75 NULL.704663&spn=0 NULL.01205,0 NULL.027874&sll=45 NULL.402078,-75 NULL.691413&sspn=0 NULL.012053,0 NULL.027874&oq=Rideau+Curling+Club,+715+Cooper+St&hq=Rideau+Curling+Club,&hnear=715+Cooper+St,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1R+5J5&t=m&z=16)
An annual family oriented celebration of folk music, dance, and spoken word. See (http://ottawagrassrootsfestival for the complete schedule (daytime and nighttime events) and to purchase tickets in advance. The daytime is free. Performers for the evening concerts include headliners Wendell Ferguson and Suzie Vinnick on Saturday and Big Soul Project Community Gospel Choir and Band on Sunday.

Gil’s Hootenanny: songs of protest, songs of hope

Wednesday May 1st
NOTE: Start time is 7:30pm.
Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue (Map…) (https://maps,+175+Third+Avenue,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=45 NULL.390793,-75 NULL.753219&sspn=0 NULL.012055,0 NULL.027874&oq=Glebe+Community+Centre&hq=Glebe+Community+Centre,&hnear=175+Third+Ave,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1S+2K2&t=m&z=16)
Tickets $10 online here (https://www NULL.paypal, at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, and at the door.
Gil’s Hootenanny is a community sing-along event that takes place each year on May 1st, May Day, the international workers’ holiday. Musicians from a range of backgrounds take turns leading the audience to sing songs of protest and songs of hope. Sponsored by CUPE The Canadian Union of Public Employees and PSAC The Public Service Alliance of Canada. A co-production by Spirit of Rasputin’s and the Gil’s Hootenanny Organizing Committee.

I’ll be at the sound board for all these events. Stop by and say howdy.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

The Pat Moore Trio this Saturday

I’ve been waiting for this show for a long time. Normally, whenever I get a chance to see The Pat Moore Trio it is in some giant hall as part of a major extravaganza such as The Ottawa Opry or a major festival. Finally I get to be up close in an intimate environment with fabulous acoustics. Click here to buy your tickets (https://www NULL.paypal for this Saturday’s Featured Artist Concert featuring Pat with her sidekicks Ann Downey and Pat McLaughlin.

When: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron Here’s a map… (http://goo

Pat Moore’s voice has a warm and expressive quality, as perfectly suited to a rich ballad, as it is to an up-tempo power song. She moves easily from the storytelling of the singer/songwriter genre, to jazz, and to the lonesome sound of traditional country and bluegrass. Whether performing for large audiences or small, Pat creates an intimacy that draws the listener in. This feeling translates to her recordings: “The Time’s Never Been Better” and “Take it to Heart“. Both have received praise from far and wide – Holland, Italy, Australia, the U.S. and across Canada.

The Pat Moore trio enjoys the fine musicianship of Ann Downey on bass and vocals (Finest Kind) and Pat McLaughlin on guitar, mandolin, and vocals (Grievous Angel The Legend of Gram Parsons).

Check out the poster and a longer write-up on

Other Spirit of Rasputin’s News

Announcing Rasputin’s Matinees!!

Le Michel-ange Cafe has moved from 35 Laurel Street into the foyer of the GCTC Theatre. This has disrupted our schedule of events originally planned for the old location. So The Cabaret Concert Series and The Next Stage series will be at Westboro Masonic Hall on Sunday afternoons. Kate, our artistic director, and all the musicians and hosts involved have done a lot of planning to setup the new schedule. Thanks to all.

Please check for all the changes to dates. Matinees will all run from 3pm to 5pm. This will be a lot of fun and as well as more family friendly. Children 12 and under are free. The kitchen will be serving coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, cookies and popcorn. Our first matinee is March 3rd for The Next Stage with Ron Mills and Cornflower Blue.

Spirit’s 3rd Annual AGM

Spirit of Rasputin’s Annnual General Meeting of Members will be held on February 17 at 2pm at Whispers Pub and Eatery. This is for members only, but you can buy your membership at the meeting and your vote will still count. If you want more information, please contact me directly at

Thanks for reading,
Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Terry Tufts

with Kathryn Briggs and Ken Workman

When: 8:00 PM Sat Jan 19, 2013

Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. Google Map… (https://maps,+450+Churchill+Ave,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=56,-96&sspn=66 NULL.457424,214 NULL.277344&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=450+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ottawa+Division,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16)

Tickets: $20. Buy online now… (https://www NULL.paypal

Terry Tufts is a finger-style guitarist who has been playing music for enjoyment since 1963 and as a professional since 1974.

His father’s job with the Canadian Government moved the family to Denver, Colorado in the U.S. in the 1960′s at a time when the folk and rock music genres were influencing opinion everywhere. In 1974 he moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, to begin pursuing his own musical career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, as well as working as a session musician and sideman for a variety of artists including: Tom Paxton, Kathryn Briggs, David Francey, Colleen Peterson, Laura Smith, Laura Bird, Ian Tamblyn, Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop, Charlie Sohmer, The Arrogant Worms, Wayne Rostad, Susan Aglukark, Tracey Brown, and George Fox.

He has 7 albums to his credit.

Performing with Kathryn Briggs and Ken Workman, Terry will be putting on an amazing show not to be missed!. Doors open at 7:30pm.

See you there!

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Bonan Kristnaskon kaj feliĉan novan jaron

That’s as close as I get to a seasonal salutation in Esperanto. Remember Esperanto? That weird language created by a guy (Dr Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof) 100 years ago who meant well? For his day he was smart, contemporary, and just a little idealistic. He tried to make the world a better place through universal communication. Kind of like folk music today…but without the clever rhymes, beautiful melodies and intelligent lyrics. So may you enjoy health, comfort, prosperity and nice folk music (instead of irritating muzak) this holiday season.

Okay, irritating muzak isn’t likely to be outlawed anytime soon. But you have a chance this Saturday night to enjoy some folky grooves at our annual Santa’s Beard pass-the-hat charity extravaganza in support of the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund with the help of our sponsor The Public Service Alliance of Canada, National Capital Region. We have three great bands lined up.

Who: Bob Spelled Backwards, Terry McLeish Trio, Hurry Up & Wait
What: Rasputin’s Beard a.k.a Santa’s Beard
When: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Tickets: No cover. Pass-the-hat to support the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund.
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave – Ottawa

View Larger Map (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&aq=0&oq=Westboro+masonic+hall+430+Churchill+&sll=45 NULL.392378,-75 NULL.753222&sspn=0 NULL.009358,0 NULL.026157&gl=ca&ie=UTF8&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&ll=45 NULL.392378,-75 NULL.753222&spn=0 NULL.006295,0 NULL.006295&t=m)

Other news

Please note our holiday cancellations

  • Open Stage cancelled for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (Dec 24 & Dec 31)
  • Folk-along Jam cancelled for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (Dec 25 & Jan 1)
  • Bluegrass Jam cancelled for December 29.

So translating my Esperanto to Latin we have “Natale hilare et annum faustum” or loosely to English as “Party ’til you drop!”


Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Santa's Beard Poster

The Right Note

I just noticed the other day that seasonal music is springing up in muzak systems across shopper-land. While wandering the aisles in search of the right gift for a special someone, I was thinking about what gift would strike the right note. This is important in a family as artistically inclined as mine. I finally realized, it wasn’t a “thing” I was searching for…it was a process. A way to bring loved ones together in celebration. So this year Kate and I will gift charities in the names of others and celebrate this marvelous but challenged world with song.

Spirit of Rasputin’s has four concert events planned between now and year’s end, two of which are charitable. I hope you can attend some if not all.


Amanda Bon

Featured Artist Series

When: 8:00 PM Sat Nov 24, 2012
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave (Map… (http://maps NULL.390795,-75 NULL.753222&spn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&sll=45 NULL.390916,-75 NULL.753565&sspn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&gl=ca&hq=The+Westboro+Masonic+Hall&t=m&z=15))
Tickets: $20. Buy online here…!!
Amanda with bandmates Danny Artuso, Ken Kanwisher, and Gilles LeClerc are “the” hot new band in town. This event is selling extremely well. Tickets are still available online and at The Ottawa Folklore Centre. If you don’t purchase advance tickets, I advise you to show up early. This show may sellout.


Steel Moon / Lukas Grant

The Next Stage

When: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Le Michel-Ange Café-Warehouse-Roasting, 35 Laurel Street (Map… (http://maps,Ottawa,+ON&cid=0,0,9538114559981659874&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A))
Tickets: Pass-the-hat to support the artists.

Steel Moon
Fast rising Steel Moon ( is just back from showcasing at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals in Mississauga. Having previously played at Rasputin’s Beard this is our chance to hear them stretch out into a longer set.

“Milliken’s fluid guitar style complements the husky resonance of Larocque’s voice, while the lyrics convey a sense of hopeful resolution.” — Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen

Lukas Grant
Currently working hard on their first CD, Lucas Grant comprises Lucas and bandmate Brent Millar.


Sjef Frenken

Cabaret Concert – Charity Event

When: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Le Michel-Ange Café-Warehouse-Roasting, 35 Laurel Street (Map… (http://maps,Ottawa,+ON&cid=0,0,9538114559981659874&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A))
Tickets: $10 at the door
Sjef, our well loved Spirit of Rasputins Open Stage organizer, tells stories in the form of songs, verse and prose. This is a rare opportunity to share an entire evening with him.
All proceeds for this evening go to Micro-Chalice – a Canadian charity that lends small amounts of money to aspiring entrepreneurs in third-world countries. Upon repayment, the moneys are reinvested similarly.


Bob Spelled Backwards, Terry McLeish Trio, Los Outliers d’Amour, Hurry Up & Wait

Rasputin’s Beard – a.k.a. “Santa’s Beard”

When: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill (Map… (http://maps NULL.390795,-75 NULL.753222&spn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&sll=45 NULL.390916,-75 NULL.753565&sspn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&gl=ca&hq=The+Westboro+Masonic+Hall&t=m&z=15))
Tickets: Pass-the-hat
The December version of Rasputin’s Beard is referred to as Santa’s Beard and always supports the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund. All four bands volunteer their time and talent. The Canadian Union of Public Employees covers the rent for the building. SOCAN forgoes their usual fee. Constant Sound Studio donates the sound and light. All we need is an enthusiastic audience in a generous mood. Rasputin’s Beard is always a charitable event, and always an immense amount of fun and energy.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

In the Calm After The Dreadful Wind and Rain – With Correction!!

Note: I have resent this newsletter with a correction to the Amanada Bon concert date…whew!

I live in a red oak forest. Oaks hold their leaves tenaciously in the fall. We and our neighbours never know if our yards will get raked up before the snow. Well, this year Sandy and “the dreadful wind and rain” helped solve that dilemma. All the leaves are down. Now…if I can just find the time to get out there with a rake!!

In the meantime, here are three events to tweak your interest in the calm following the storm. There’s no excuse for me not to be at all of them since I never rake leaves after dark. Too many bears.

  • Rasputin’s The Next Stage at Le Michel-Ange featuring Mark Nyvlt and Sharon Coward on Nov 3rd;
  • Rasputin’s Featured Artist Series at The Westboro Masonic Hall featuring Amanda Bon and her fabulous band on Nov 24th;
  • Ottawa Valley Bluegrass Associationn presents The Spinney Brothers at The Greely Legion on Nov 20th.

Mark Nyvlt and Sharon Coward

Le Michel-Ange Café-Warehouse-Roasting, 35 Laurel St (Map…)
8pm Saturday November 3rd
No cover. Pass-the-hat.

As part of our mandate to support and nurture emerging artists, The Next Stage features selected artists from the Rasputin’s Open Stage. This should be a very entertaining evening featuring two talented and markedly different singer-songwriters.
More info here…

Amanda Bon Band

Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill (Map…)
8pm Saturday November 24th
Tickets $20 online here… (https://www NULL.paypal and at The Ottawa Folklore Centre

Amanda Bon hits all the right notes. We have seen her progress from the Open Stage to Rasputin’s Beard and now on to our Featured Artists’ stage. Great songs, great band, and a heart warming delivery.
More info here…

The Spinney Brothers

The Greely Legion, 8021 Mitch Owens Road (Map…)
7pm Tuesday Novemeber 20th
Tickets $25

This is a rare opportunity to catch Canada’s premier bluegrass ensemble. Inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, The Spinney Brothers are an internationally acclaimed band who just happen to be passing through Ottawa on a Tuesday night. In return for the valley ‘grassers helping us promote our own bluegrass event last October with Concession 23, it seemed only fair to give a shout-out to this event in return. Thanks to Spirit member Dave Porter, President, Ottawa Valley Bluegrass Music Association, for bringing this event to town.
More info here…


Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Folk music is busting out all over!

The 2011/2012 season is rolling home featuring home-brewed talent. The four remaining events before our summer break all feature local musicians in interesting settings.

Chrysalis with host Missy Burgess

When: 8pm Saturday, May 26
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Admission: FREE (pass-the-hat)

This year’s Chrysalis features a dozen local songwriters. Each will perform two songs not of their own composition. Always a treat, the format this year is based on a song circle with artists taking turns presenting their favourite Ottawa Valley compositions. Missy tells me there are still a couple of slots open, so if you want to sign up, contact her at (burgesm null@null algonquincollege
More info here…

Rasputin’s Next Stage

When: 7:30pm Saturday, June 2
Where: Le Michel-Ange Cafe, 35 Laurel St, off Breezehill north of Gladstone
Admission: FREE (pass-the-hat)
Who: Kelly Sloan, Motel Raphaël, and Blue Blue Satellite

Getting in three sets of great music means starting a little early. This should be a great show!!
Kelly Sloan (http://kellysloan
Motel Raphaël (http://www NULL.myspace
Blue Blue Satellite (http://www NULL.bluebluesatellite

Rasputin’s Cabaret Concert

When: 8pm Saturday, June 9
Where: Le Michel-Ange Cafe, 35 Laurel St, off Breezehill north of Gladstone
Admission: $12
Who: Greg Kelly & The Broken Windows Philharmonic, Jim Robinson opening

This is the Ottawa CD release for Greg’s new project “Slow Horses” which is already getting a lot of air play from Chopper McKinnon on Canadian Spaces. Greg says most of the various ‘shards’ comprising The Broken Windows Philharmonic will be on stage for this event including Hollis Morgan, Jamie Gullickson, and Andrew Snow. More about Greg… (http://gregkellysongs

Rasputin’s Beard

When: 8pm Saturday, June 16
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Admission: FREE (pass-the-hat)
Who: Cornflower Blue (http://cornflowerbluemusic, The Pilkingtones, Jazz Latté, Los Outliers d’Amour

This June’s Beard (our last of the season) will be raising funds for The Ottawa Food Bank. Food donations always seem to taper off as we approach the summer, so we will raise as much cash as we can…the Food Bank likes cash since it allows them to purchase items noone has donated. 100% of cash raised by pass-the-hat will go to the Food Bank thanks to the sponsorship of PSAC National Capital Region who generously cover our rent for the hall. More info…

See you out there!!

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society


The third annual May Day “Gil’s Hootenanny” was a rousing success with a full house at the NAC Fourth Stage. Each iteration’s venue has been filled to capacity…first The Elmdale Tavern in 2010, then overflowing The Westboro Masonic Hall in 2011 and now a packed Fourth Stage in 2012. If you missed it…there’s always next year!! At some point we’ll have to book an arena for this one.

Coming up this month we have three great concert events:

  1. Rasputin’s Next Stage on May 5th
  2. The Sultans of String on May 12th, and
  3. Chrysalis on May 26th

Rasputin’s Next Stage

Who: Mark Evenchick and Wayne Lyrette
Where: Le Michel-Ange Cafe, 35 Laurel Ave.
When: 7:30pm Saturday May 5th
Tickets: Free admission, pass-the-hat

Rasputin’s Next Stage moves to Le Michel-Ange Cafe this Saturday giving it more room to grow. Two popular regulars from our Open Stage are sure to please. We have all been enjoying Wayne Lyrette’s increasing poise and expanding repertoire on stage. His contributions at Song Along were a real treat. I’m looking forward to a full set of his great songs and humour in the second set. The opening set features Mark Evenchick with a selection of songs from his first CD as well as songs he is planning for his second CD. NOTE the start time is 7:30 not 8 as previously indicated on the website.

Rasputin’s Feature Concert

Who: The Sultans of String
Where: First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary Ave.
When: 8pm Saturday May 12th
Tickets: $25 at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, and online (click here) (https://www NULL.paypal
Accessible?: Yes! Wheelchair entrance and elevator at ground level.

We are very excited to be part of The Sultans of String CD release tour for “MOVE”, their 3rd CD. Since their formation only 5 years ago, they have been riding a wave of success, from their debut CD, “Luna”, and 2nd offering, “Yalla Yalla”, both hitting # 1 on world/international music charts in Canada, to their triple Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, winning Instrumental Group of the Year.

“Canada is a real meeting places of musical influences from around the world” says bandleader/violinst McKhool. “At the same time, as a band we try to tell uniquely Canadian stories, putting forth our vision of the world as one family.” Chris’ paternal Makhoul grandparents immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in the early 1900s, and his Egyptian-born mother, an accomplished pianist, also has paternal Lebanese ancestry. “Growing up, I was taught the values of tolerance, respect for all peoples and celebration of culture.” McKhool’s unbridled passion for exploring the rhythms and melodies has led him to the far corners of the world, incorporating instruments and styles everywhere he went. More about The Sultans of String…

You do not want to miss this concert!! NOTE the location is not our usual concert venue. The First Unitarian Congregation is on Clerary Ave. off Richmond Road just east of Woodroffe. Here’s a map. (http://g

9th Annual Chrysalis

Who: Various artists (TBA) with host Missy Burgess
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill
When: 8pm Saturday May 26th
Tickets: Free admission, pass-the-hat

The chrysalis symbolizes rebirth. This event celebrates Ottawa songwriters by asking the performers (all songrwriters) to sing the songs of another Ottawa songwriter. As Missy says, “I like to refer to the “rebirth” of a song (thus, the name Chrysalis) when someone other than the writer performs it.” For 9 years now many Ottawa singer/songwriters have been getting together once a year to perform each others’ works in and amidst the work of others from the Ottawa valley. Come and enjoy an evening of surprising twists to songs you have heard from local artists.

And of course, don’t forget our Open Stage continues every Monday upstairs at Whispers and the Folkalong Jam convenes every Tuesday at the Georgetown Pub.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

The 40 Days of April…!

In this newsletter:

  1. A Cabaret Concert: John Bowman / Vince Halfhide with Chris White
  2. May Day celebration: Gil’s Hootenanny
  3. A Reeaally big showww! The Sultans of String

Ronnie Hawkins had a big hit with Chuck Berry’s song 30 days by changing it to 40 days. Sometimes you just have to try something new. So this “monthly missive” covers about 40 days of Spirit of Rasputin’s activities.

We all love the intimacy and acoustics of our concerts at the Westboro Masonic Hall, but this spring we will present two larger events at different venues so pay attention to the “where:” for Gil’s Hootenanny and The Sultans of String in the announcements below.

Who: John Bowman/ Vince Halfhide & Chris White
What: The first in the “Cabaret Concert Series”
When: 8pm Saturday April 21, 2012
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Tickets: $20 [ Click here to buy online now!! (https://www NULL.paypal ] or buy in person at the Ottawa Folklore Centre.

This is the first of a series we call “Cabaret Concerts” where the performers are members of Spirit of Rasputin’s. The series launch is at the Masonic Hall and then the series continues in June at Le Michel-Ange. More info on the “Series” will be in the next newsletter but here we present the inaugural event in this series.

Set 1: John Bowman and Friends
John divides his time betweeen Vancouver and Ottawa working in labour relations and performing in local clubs. He is a poetic composer with a thoughtful delivery and a beautiful finger-picking guitar style. Expect to hear quite a few songs from his CD “Beach on the Ocean” accompanied by the musicians from that project: Tobias Meis (bass), Mark St. Jean (harmonica), and Kristine St. Pierre (backup vocals). John donates the proceeds from sales of his CD to The Canadian Women’s Foundation – Shelter From the Storm. This is a man with a lot of class and a heart as big as Canada. (John’s website… (http://johnbowman

Set 2: Vince Halfhide with Chris White (and special guest Mary Gick)
Guitarist Vince Halfhide has performed and recorded with Sneezy Waters, Andrea and the Fun Guys, The Jivewires, Larry “the Bird” Mootham, Missy Burgess, The Mighty Popo, Chris White, The Toasted Westerns, Heaven’s Radio / Terry Gillespie and many others.  He is at ease with a wide range of musical styles, including folk, country, blues, R&B, reggae, jazz and African music. More recently, another Vince has emerged: a singer-songwriter whose original songs are as entertaining, evocative and far-ranging as his guitar work.

Chris grew up in a musical family and has been writing and performing songs all his life.  He plays guitar and ukulele, writes witty songs, teaches songwriting classes and directs Ottawa’s new Shout Brother choir.  As a community event organizer, Chris has played key roles with the Ottawa Folk Festival, Writer’s Bloc and CKCU FM.  His songs are at once humorous and touching, and provide lots of opportunities for audience involvement.  His two CDs of original songs have generated great enthusiasm.

In performance together, Chris and Vince blend voices and instruments to create a unique and memorable experience.

What: May Day: Gil’s Hootenanny
Who: TBA a wide variety of labour activists and performers
When: 7:30pm Tuesday May 1, 2012
Where: NAC Fourth Stage
Tickets: $15 [ Click here to buy online now!! (https://www NULL.paypal ] or buy in person at the NAC box office.

This event has simply outgrown the Masonic Hall! So join us for an evening celebrating working men and women in song and story. This good old fashioned hootenanny is always on May Day which is a Tuesday this year. Spirit of Rasputin’s thanks CUPE for their generous sponsorship of this event.

Watch the website for the official announcement of who is performing this year. Chris White is still busy lining everyone up as I write this.

Who: The Sultans of String
When: 8pm Saturday May 12
Where: First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary Ave.
Tickets: $25 [ Click here to buy online now!! (https://www NULL.paypal ] or buy in person at the Ottawa Folklore Centre.

Each year we bring you a world class instrumental extravaganza. On Sat May 12, raucous world-roots string wizards, 2x CFMA winners & JUNO nominees, Sultans of String, serve up their spicy stew of Gypsy jazz, Spanish flamenco, Global roots, and Cuban rhythms at The Spirit of Rasputin’s!

“Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity” include 6-string violinist Chris McKhool (Pavlo), guitar wizard Kevin Laliberté (Jesse Cook, guested on tour with The Chieftains), bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk, Amanda Martinez), and the jaw dropping talent of Cuban percussionist Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba, Parachute Club)!

Seamlessly traversing diverse themes of heart, place and tradition, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.

Since their formation only 5 years ago, Sultans of String have been riding a wave of success, from their debut CD, “Luna”, and 2nd offering, “Yalla Yalla”, both hitting # 1 on world/international music charts in Canada, to their triple Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, winning Instrumental Group of the Year.

In the 2 years alone, they’ve acquired a JUNO nomination, representation from acclaimed promoter David Wilkes (Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck, Melanie), and booking representation in the US, UK and Australia. They also took home 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries), placed as finalists for two 2011 International Independent Music Awards, garnered 2 awards from Festival & Events Ontario, and Ontario Contact’s Artist of The Year.

The band just released their new and 3rd CD, MOVE, a perfect hat-trick presenting, once again, an exhilarating celebration of world music styles.

“Canada is a real meeting places of musical influences from around the world” says bandleader/violinst McKhool. “At the same time, as a band we try to tell uniquely Canadian stories, putting forth our vision of the world as one family.” Chris’ paternal Makhoul grandparents immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in the early 1900s, and his Egyptian-born mother, an accomplished pianist, also has paternal Lebanese ancestry. “Growing up, I was taught the values of tolerance, respect for all peoples and celebration of culture.” McKhool’s unbridled passion for exploring the rhythms and melodies has led him to the far corners of the world, incorporating instruments and styles everywhere he went. (Their website… (http://www NULL.sultansofstring ))

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

p.s. Don’t forget about the Monday Open Stage upstairs at Whispers, and the Tuesday Folkalong Jam in the back room of The Georgetown.

Music and More in March 2012

In this newsletter:

  • News from the president
  • The Next Stage, March 4
  • The Great Canadian Song-along 20th Anniversary, March 9 &10
  • Intellectual Property Workshop for Songwiters, March 10
  • Spirit of Rasputins Second Annual General Meeting, March 18
  • Rasputin’s Bluegrass Jam, March 18
  • Rasputin’s Beard, March 24
  • Open Stage, every Monday, Folk-along Jam, every Tuesday

News from the president

After a pause where many of our key organizers, including yours truly, traveled to sunny and warmer climes, we are all back and hitting the ground running. In addition to a robust schedule of musical events, we have a workshop for songwriters and the second AGM of members.

Several events take advantage of our new relationship with Le Michel-Ange Coffee Roasting Warehouse and Cafe at 35 Laurel Street. And…drum roll here…we have a new sponsor. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (National Capital Region) has agreed to cover all hall rental expenses for the next four Rasputin’s Beard charity events. For those who didn’t already know, the SoR board of directors decided to remit 100% of all Rasputin’s Beard’s pass-the-hat funds to local charities. This month’s charity is the local Stop the Bullying program.

The Next Stage

Where: Whispers Pub (upstairs), 249 Richmond Road
When: 7:30pm Sunday March 4th
Who: John Casselman and Julie Element
This is a pass-the-hat event.
NOTE the start time is 30 minutes later than usual with two performers instead of three.

John says, “I began writing songs in 2001 after my guitar teacher encouraged me to perform at Rasputin’s Open Stage. It was at Rasputin’s that I learned how limitations could bring freedom: I didn’t have a manager, a producer, or a band; but I could still make cds that were worth serious consideration. In 2005 I recorded my first rock opera, ‘The Hosta Family’. ‘The Jasper Hand’ (the backstory to ‘Hosta’) was recorded in 2008. Through rock opera I see where it is that I tend to abdicate my ideals. I then try to move my characters’ strength, knowledge, and power out of the household into the street.”

Julie is a true folky with experience performing, composing, and hosting other folk events both live and on radio (CKCU). Referred to by Lynn Saxburg as “a witty Brit”, Julie writes “slightly wacky songs about trains and buses, and delivers them with gusto.”

The Great Canadian Song-along **20th Anniversary**

Where: Le Michel-Ange Coffee Roasting Cafe, 35 Laurel St
When: Two nights, 7pm Fri/Sat the 9th and 10th
Who: Many performers, hosted by Tony Turner and Greg Kelly
This is a pass-the-hat event.

It’s hard to believe but the Great Canadian Song-Along is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Song-Along is Ottawa’s annual songwriting and performance event. The event is co-produced by Writers’ Bloc and the Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society. This is the first concert event we are producing at Le Michel-Ange. If you haven’t been there before, it’s a little tricky to find at 35 Laurel St (north of Gladstone, west of Breezehill) so here’s a map.

There’s a lot of more info on the Writers’ Bloc website (http://writersbloc including the song topics and how to signup. If you are not a songwriter, this is still a terrific evening of entertainment…and the coffee and hot chocolate are amazing.

Intellectual Property Workshop for Songwiters

Where: Le Michel-Ange Coffee Roasting Cafe, 35 Laurel St
When: 3pm Saturday the 10th
Who: Gilles Daigle, copyright expert and Partner with the law firm Gowlings
Free for SoR members. $5 for non-members.

Copyright, licencing, SOCAN, CRIA, YouTube, performance royalties, recording royalties, neighbouring rights, right of first performance… What does all this mean for you as a songwriter in the digital age? This workshop aims to equip songwriters with greater understanding about the shifting sands under our feet.

Spirit of Rasputins Annual General Meeting

Where: Le Michel-Ange Coffee Roasting Cafe, 35 Laurel St
When: 2-5pm Sunday the 18th
Who: SoR Members. Memberships will be sold at the meeting.

We are growing. We now have 92 members. A few days from now all members will receive copies of proposed resolutions and the slate of candidates running for the board of directors (three positions are available). If you are a member, we need your voice to help chart the future of this vibrant folk community. If you are not a member yet, come to the AGM and join.

Rasputin’s Bluegrass Jam

Where: Le Michel-Ange Coffee Roasting Cafe, 35 Laurel St
When: 5pm Sunday March 18th
Who: Hosted by Garry Greenland
Free. Just bring your axe of choice. This is a welcoming format to learn and perfect bluegrass styles and licks. For this date only, the Jam starts at 5pm and follows the Spirit of Rasputins Annual General Meeting.

Rasputin’s Beard “Band Showcase” and Charity Event

Where: The Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
When: 8pm Saturday the 24th
Who: Sarah Drader & Friends, Three Little Birds, Tower of Song, SPECIAL GUEST: Maria Hawkins

This is a pass-the-hat charity event in support of Maria Hawkins “Stop the Bullying Program”. Thanks to PSAC National Capital Region for sponsoring this event. More information about this event will be sent out in the next newsletter.

Open Stage, every Monday; Folk-along Jam, every Tuesday

Whether you are a “closet performer” or experienced picker, these may be just right for you. The Open Stage upstairs at Whispers is usually well attended and quite entertaining. However several of our regular participants are also checking out several other open mics that have recently sprouted up around the area. As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If you have been thinking about starting to perform in front of an audience, this is the perfect time and place for you. The Rasputins Open Stage is the oldest continuously running open stage in Ottawa and remains the most welcoming and supportive in the area of both novice and experienced performers. More info…

And if you just want to play along to with other musicians, try the Folk-along Jam at The GeorgeTown Pub. More info…

Sorry for the length of this missive. I’ll try to be more succinct in future.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputins Arts Society

Saturday December 17 “Santa’s Beard” will support The Snowsuit Fund

What: The December version of Rasputin’s Beard, a fast-paced four band showcase.
When: 8-10pm Saturday, December 17
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Who: Ottawa Valley Special, The Elementals, Amanda Bon Band, and Gerry Griffin Band.

NO COVER!! Pass-the-hat/pay-what-you-can.

All net proceeds will go to The Snowsuit Fund. The Fund gratefully accepts donations of cash and knitted articles as well as gently used winter outerwear, hats, mitts and boots of all sizes. They endeavour to provide every eligible child with a brand new snowsuit. However, many of their clientele have older children in need of winter clothing, or the parents themselves are in need of a warm coat. Good quality used items can help bridge that gap.  Continue reading

December Enlightenment

In this newsletter:

  • December enlightenment
  • The Next Stage: Sunday, December 4
  • Santa’s Beard: Saturday, December 17

December is coming. With shorter days compressing time, we scurry to meet the escalated demands of family, work and faith. Ancient festivals of light challenge the dark. We immerse ourselves in love and laughter, music and meditation. But December is more than just busy. December is a month of extremes where the differences between those who have comfort and those who seek comfort stand in stark relief. For many it is a month of stress, anxiety, and inescapable poverty. December challenges us to think more of others than usual; to give comfort to the stranger we might otherwise pass by. December is coming. Time to turn on the en-light-enment.

This December, we have two concert events for you: another in our new series “The Next Stage“; and our first “Santa’s Beard” charity event.

This Sunday December 4th “The Next Stage

What: Spirit of Rasputin’s Next Stage
Where: Upstairs at Whispers Pub, 249 Richmond Road
When: Sunday, December 4, 7pm
Who: Margaret Currie-Feuerstack, Chris Angel, Jeremy Owen

The Next Stage supports our mandate to encourage and promote emerging local artists. This event is a Pay What You Can, Pass-the-hat event with no cover charge. Three artists each perform a full set. Everyone is welcome but space is limited so early arrival is recommended. Suggestion: arrive by 6:30 and order dinner. The food is great!

About the Performers

Margaret Currie-Feuerstack says, “I’ve been playing/writing off and on for many many years. Enjoy writing songs, but also perform old ‘swing’ standards with a jazz quartet (will not be doing those Sunday!) Not really much into promo at this stage – just happy to perform some original songs.”

Jeremy Owen says, “I am the Last of the Cowboy-Warrior-Poets, exiled from the
Western Kingdoms and now living just outside the wonder and spectacle and
cash-for-life of Fair Ottawa. I ‘invented’ the genre Gutter Folk to cover
the vast inadequacies in my musical ability, as well as to differentiate
myself from those masters of the craft with whom I holds little in
common.” Jeremy’s style is abrasive, passionate, violent and beautiful. Link to Jeremy on MySpace (http://www NULL.myspace

Chris Angel began performing at bars and pubs while completing his degree
in performance music at the University of Windsor. Chris started
out playing open mic nights and soon became a regular fixture at a dozen
Windsor and Detroit bars focussing on a fast-paced mix of rock and modern Celtic favourites and traditional songs arranged in a less-than-traditional manner along with a few originals.Chris has two CDs: Celtic Stepson, his first, and the 2011 release Better Late Than Never. (http://chrisangelmusic

Saturday December 17, “Santa’s Beard Charity Event”

What: The December version of Rasputin’s Beard, a fast-paced four band showcase.
When: 8-10pm Saturday, December 17
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Who: Ottawa Valley Special, The Elementals, Amanda Bon Band, and Gerry Griffin Band.
NO COVER!! Pass-the-hat/pay-what-you-can. All net proceeds to go to charity.

About the Bands

Ottawa Valley Special serve up a potpourri of fine Americana. The band includes Tracy Clark, lead vocals and guitar; Jamie Anderson, vocals, guitar and mandolin; Ellen Daly, fiddle; and Jim Brossert, standup bass. Link to Ottawa Valley Special on MySpace (http://www NULL.myspace

The Elementals, fronted by lead singer Julie Element on acoustic guitar, present a tragic blend of Brit/alt/urban-folk. The other five members of the band (who all sing backup vocals) are Peter Pelletier, harmonica and conga; Edith Falkenburg, ukelele; Judy Jibb accordion; Dave Skully acoustic guitar and mandolin; and Patrick Shank, bass guitar.

Amanda Bon Band, country/folk/bluegrass, will be playing songs from Amanda’s new CD Juniper Weekends. Joining Amanda are Danny Artuso, acoustic guitar; Gilles Leclerc, mandolin; and Ken Kanwisher, upright bass. (http://www NULL.amandabon

Gerry Griffin Band plays an eclectic meld of folk, country, blues, rock, celtic, and elements of North African music. Lead singer Gerry Griffin plays acoustic guitar and Turkish saz with partner Heather Houston adding harmonies, Appalachian dulcimer and thumbpiano. Rounding out the band are Bruce Wittet on drums and Andy Roberts on upright bass. (http://www NULL.gerrygriffinmusic

Spirited Members’ Events

Have you noticed the Members’s Events listed on the Rasputin’s website? Not surprisingly, a large percentage of our members are musicians who produce their own entertaining and worthwhile events and are in demand for for other events, many of them charitable in nature. We decided a few weeks ago to assist these events through the Spirit of Rasputin’s website and the occasional newsletter. Over the next few weeks there are several events involving our members you should know about. Members’ names below are in bold.

What: CD Release Benefit Concert
Who: Mark Evenchick
When: 8pm Saturday November 12
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
No cover charge. 100% of the proceeds from CD sales will go to the Ottawa Food Bank. Mark will be accompanied by Kate & Hollis Morgan. Greg Kelly will peform an opening set. Mark is a Spirit board member, our treasurer, and one of the host/organizers of the Monday night Open Stage. Advance sales of his CD Incident at the Hangdog Saloon have already raised hundreds of dollars for the food bank.


What: Writers’ Bloc
Who: Hosted by Greg Kelly
When: 2pm-4pm Sunday November 13
Where: The Ottawa Folklore Centre, 1111 Bank Street
Write a song on topic and receive a gentle but sincere critique from your fellow composers. This month’s topics are “Dreams”, “Behind Those Eyes”, “Shortlist”, and “Winter”.


What: Ottawa Folklore Centre 35th Anniversary Concert and Fundraiser for the Hospice at Maycourt
Who: Terry Gillespie, Ana Miura, Sheesham and Lotus, Jesse Greene and harp sensation Marc Seguin, Folk legend Doug McArthur, Alicia Borisonik, Don Gibbons, Missy Burgess, the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG), local clawhammer banjo legends Mary Gick – Paul Horn
When: 7pm-10pm Sunday November 13
Where: The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St


What: Healing Garden Music Fest
Who: Lynn Miles, Missy Burgess, Amanda Rheaume and Ana Miura. With special guests Michael Burgess and Keith Glass.
When: 2pm-5pm Sunday November 27
Where: The Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Ave

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Spirited November Events

This Sunday November 6th “The Next Stage”

What: Spirit of Rasputin’s Next Stage
Where: Upstairs at Whispers Pub, 249 Richmond Road
When: Sunday, November 6, 7pm
Who: Imran, Amanda Bon, Kristine St. Pierre

The Next Stage supports our mandate to encourage and promote emerging local artists. This event is a Pay What You Can, Pass-the-hat event with no cover charge. Three artists each perform a full set. Everyone is welcome but space is limited so early arrival is recommended. Suggestion: arrive by 6:30 and order dinner. The food is great!

About the Performers

Imran has been playing the open mic scene in Ottawa for the past 5 years. He got his start at Rasputin’s Folk Café and since then has played at a number of other venues around town. His songs range from folk to funk, with the odd dog song thrown in there for good measure.

Amanda Bon recently released an impressive first CD Juniper Weekends produced by Danny Artuso who will be accompanying her this Sunday. Find out more about Amanda at her website (http://amandabon where you can listen to clips from the CD and purchase it online. Even better, come to the show and purchase an autographed copy from her! She started her formal music studies at the piano and later moved on to the guitar.

Kristine St. Pierre sings and writes in both English and French, but it is the simplicity with which she illustrates and shares her emotions combined with her familiar voice that makes her an artist to discover. On her website (http://www NULL.kristinestpierre you can discover more about her and listen to a few of her songs.

Missy Burgess CD Release with Keith Glass

What: Spirit of Rasputin’s Concert Series
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
When: Saturday November 19, 8pm
Who: Missy Burgess with Keith Glass

Tickets are selling briskly for this much anticipated show. Missy’s third CD takes her in a slightly new sonic direction with producer Keith Glass (of Prairie Oyster fame) adding two of his own compositions and a co-write to Missy’s collection of originals and comfortable standards. The CD is a polished perfomance from a seasoned pro. Tickets are available from The Folklore Centre, Collected Works Bookstore, online at The Spirit of Rasputin’s E-Store.

And, of course, the regular weekly events

Thanksgiving 2011

In this newsletter:
– Thank you Dean! October 22 “Hats ‘n Spats Gala”
– Giving Thanks For My Village
– Change to March events

Thank you Dean! October 22 “Hats ‘n Spats Gala”

What: “Hats ‘n Spats Gala”
When: 8-10pm, Saturday, October 22
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Who: Sheesham & Lotus

In all cultural endeavours there are inevitably a few standout contributors. The folk music community in Ottawa over the past 35 years is no exception. We have our stars. I’m not referring to performers who have risen from the open stage to the main stage, although we have many of those. I am referring to the enablers, the entrepreneurs…those who build the structures, the organizations, the ethics, the business models upon which folk artists stand.

There are many patrons of folk music who understand that this is not a commercially rich vein but one that must be nurtured in order to flower. Without a folk oriented music store and school there are fewer resources for learning and sharing. So thank you Arthur McGregor for the Ottawa Folklore Centre. Without a folk festival there are fewer opportunities to celebrate our finest achievements. Thank you Chris for launching the Ottawa Folkfest. Without a folk club there is no sympathetic venue for new folk performers to hone their craft. Thank you Dean Verger for Rasputin’s Folk Cafe and for being a mentor to us all. On October 22 we will honour Dean for creating the legacy that began as a modest cafe with a clear set of values, to a community organization working to carry those values forward.

Oct 22 2011

Hats'n Spats with Sheesham & Lotus

What is that legacy? Dean established more than a folk nightclub. He established an ethic at the Cafe that remains unique in Ottawa and is at the core of what Spirit of Rasputin’s works to preserve. Quite simply, it involves respect. Respect for the performer. Respect for the audience. Respect for the venue and its staff. Respect for the environment. Respect for our folk traditions. Respect for those who create new songs and stories. Respect for those who keep the old songs and stories alive.

On October 22, Dean Verger will be inducted by Spirit of Rasputin’s as its first honourary Lifetime Member. The celebration will be interspersed with short anecdotes, or “tales told out of school” from many Cafe alumni…all told with great respect of course! Sheesham & Lotus are driving up from Kingston to provide the musical entertainment. Both musicians are veterans of the contra dance band circuit and offer a highly entertaining brand of old-time fiddle and banjo music. They are as much fun to watch as to listen to.

So what’s with hats and spats? It’s just too close to Halloween to pass up. The old-time music brought this to mind. So if you have a great old hat or some especially fancy or odd footware, why not join in a little fun? If you don’t have such accoutrements, that’s fine too. Just come to show your respect -:) The press release I sent out about this event called “Folk Music Still Hot Three Years After Fire” is on the website in a slightly altered form.

Tickets are available at The Ottawa Folklore Centre 1111 Bank St., Collected Works Bookstore 1242 Wellington West, and online securely here. (https://www NULL.paypal

Giving Thanks For My Village

Villages are personal by nature. For humans, the village is our most natural cluster, an organic outgrowth of the extended family. Villagers rely on one another, support each other as friends, neighbours, and relatives. Humanity has lived in villages for tens of thousands of years. We are well adapted to it’s size and form. Villagers can identify each other, usually by name, or at least by occupation, or by dwelling. Villagers know each other either intimately or casually. Villages provide a carefully evolved level of comfort, security. guidance and structure.

Cities are anonymous. Neighbours often don’t know a great deal about each other. Support systems are institutional. Cities are a newer phenomenon and we are less adapted to them. The scale of the city provides more amenities, increased variety, and greater opportunity. But at a cost. The city no longer fits neatly within our capacity to comprehend our social network. So how do we cope?

We who thrive in cities find our own villages within the metropolis: a place of worship, a workplace, a neighbourhood pub. Each provides a milieu to recreate the village. A walled garden where we trust each other. Where we can ask a favour, celebrate a triumph, share a grief, or offer a helping hand. And if we cannot find a suitable village, we create one, drawing together those of like persuasion in a common purpose.

On this day, I want to thank The Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society members, volunteers and supporters…my village in the city…for providing the friendship, creativity, inspiration, solidarity and vision we have enjoyed together for the past few years. As Rick Hayes penned so well, “Songs and companions mean a lot to me.”

Change to March Concerts

Sadly, The Creaking Tree String Quartet has just disbanded and our planned concert with them on March 10th is cancelled. This cloud, however, has Song-along as its silver lining. On March 9th and 10th, Spirit of Rasputin’s will host the 20th Anniversary Great Canadian Song-along at the Westboro Masonic Hall. Host Tony Turner is organizing the topics and plans the usual open-style “register in advance and play your song” for Friday March 9th. Saturday March 10th will be a celebration concert with participants selected by Tony from those who have had the greatest impact over the event’s 20 year span. Did you know Chris White has performed at every Song-along since its inception? Tony will release more details over the next few months.

Due to popular demand, Carol Noel has also scheduled an extra Rasputin’s Beard for March 24th. Three per year just wasn’t enough. “Winter, spring, summer and fall. All you gotta do is call.” Call Carol that is, at 613-729-7973 or email her at if you have a band that wants a spot in The Beard.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

The Next Stage, Upstairs at Whispers

What: The Next Stage
Where: Upstairs at Whispers Pub, 249 Richmond Road
When: Sunday, October 2, 7pm
Who: Dan Arnott – Shannon Eddy – Rick Hayes

Spirit of Rasputin’s has a treat for you: Three local and truly excellent singer songwriters in a very intimate setting. Dan Arnott, Shannon Eddy and Rick Hayes inaugurate the very first Spirit of Rasputin’s Next Stage this Sunday evening. Each peformer will present a full set of entertainment. By intimate, I mean the room holds about 50 people, but don’t let that discourage you. Just arrive a little early, grab your spot and maybe sample Whisper’s excellent cuisine before the show. This is going to be a very fine evening.

Dan Arnott, on guitar, mondolin and banjo, will have you singing along to a mix of original and traditional folk songs. Shannon Eddy, a captivating performer on both guitar and piano, always delivers a strong, deeply moving performance. And Rick Hayes, who found a second home at Rasputin’s when he “emigrated” from his fabled Newfoundland, has as much to say about his songs as his songs say about him.

There is no cover charge. This is a pass-the-hat event. Come and have a great time.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputins

Season 3: Here We Go Again

In this newsletter:

  • Rasputin’s Beard this Saturday
  • The Next Stage October 2
  • What did you think of the Folk Festival?

This Saturday
Season #3 Concert Series Launch Arrives

What: Rasputin’s Beard
When: 8-10pm Saturday, September 17
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Who: Fumblin’ Fingers, Steel Moon, Pouch Cotätoes, and Lost Colt.
NO COVER!! Pass-the-hat/pay-what-you-can to defray expenses.

While the weekly Open Stage (Mondays at Whispers) and the Folk-along Jam (Tuesdays at the Georgetown) continued unabated all summer, the monthly Spirit of Rasputin’s concerts took a break for July and August. The 2011/2012 Spirit Concert Series launches this Saturday at 8pm at the Westboro Masonic Hall with our traditional season opener, Rasputin’s Beard. The four ensembles Beard host and organizer Carol Noel has lined up is the most diverse offering so far. Starting off with the eight members of the Celtic group Fumblin’ Fingers; followed by the folk-pop duo Steel Moon; then the a cappella quintet Pouch Cotätoes; and finally the alt/country sounds of quartet Lost Colt.

There is more info about Rasputin’s Beard and the bands on the Spirit website.

15 days later
Rasputin’s Next Stage is reborn

What: The very first SoR Next Stage
When: 7-10pm Sunday, October 2nd
Where: Whisper’s Pub, 249 Richmond Rd., upstairs room
Who: Dan Arnott, Rick Hayes (, Shannon Eddy Smith (
NO COVER!! Pass-the-hat/pay-what-you-can. All proceeds go to the performers.

Based on a concept developed by Dean Verger for the Café, the Next Stage is an evening showcase of three hand-picked acts at our cosy Whispers Location. Each performer will have a 40-minute set in which they will surely dazzle us with their musical prowess. Host Wen-Jeng Chen, a.k.a. Blue Blue Satellite, promises the performers “will surely dazzle us with their musical prowess.” I agree. The Next Stage honours Spirit of Rasputin’s commitment to the development of local artists. More info here:

Thoughts on the new Ottawa Folk Festival

Once again I hosted the Jam Sessions at the Ottawa Folk Festival, this time at the new Hog’s Back location. So I was at the Festival pretty much from start to finish. This festival has taken a new direction so I have taken a few weeks to absorb it and to integrate my thoughts before pronouncing my verdict on this edition. So here is my very personal assessment.

With its new management structure and leadership style, this year’s Festival had quite a different feel. But, in my view, it remained solidly “folkie” during the daytime events. There was a lot of great daytime participation: the jams, the Kids Zone, the workshops, the dance tent. And most of the evening programming on the two smaller stages fit my definition of great folk/roots entertainment.

All-in-all the Festival appeared to be a commercial success with robust attendance. That was an important achievement this year since we all know it has teetered on a fiscal knife edge recently. The main stage was a big factor in drawing a newer, younger audience to a Folk Festival. So it’s clear much of the credit for balancing the books goes to the main stage programming. We all know the Blues Fest main stage isn’t always bluesy; and the Jazz Fest main stage isn’t always jazzy; so I wasn’t surprised that the Folk Fest main stage wasn’t always folky. But that’s what seems to work to sell the required number of tickts.

So all that is fine, but this rose had some thorns.

My main irritation was the aggressive, boomy leakage from the main stage into the other two stages. For a lot of people, and for a lot of the performers, the boominess from the main stage spoiled any effort at maintaining a semblance of folkiness at the Dance Tent or Ravenhill stages. Die-hard folkies like me listen for the well plucked string and the well crafted turn of phrase that touches the heart. This is an approach to entertainment that requires a quiet, attentive audience…exactly what the Spirit of Rasputin’s is all about. The audience did their part, and the performers did their best, but the arrangement of stages and the timing of the programming worked against us. I’m sure the Folk Fest boad has heard all about this from the audience and volunteer surveys. It was a programming style that may work for the Blues Fest, but not for the Folk Fest. I hope they fix it.

Here’s hoping they get the message. I would love to hear your impressions. Just reply to this newsletter. And if you were there, go to the Folk Fest website and fill in their survey here: (http://ottawafolk


Hollis Morgan
Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

FolkFest Wraps a Great Summer

In this newsletter:

  1. Spirit of Rasputin’s at the Folk Festival
  2. Rasputin’s Beard September 17
  3. Resurrecting a Traditional Rasputin’s Event: The Next Stage
  4. Changes to the Website

Spirit of Rasputin’s at the Folk Festival

Spirit will not have a table at the Ottawa Folk Festival (http://www NULL.ottawafolk this year, but we are officially particpating in two other ways:

  1. Yours truly is once again the host for the 14 Jam Sessions (http://ottawafolk that take place throughout the day in the Jam Session Tent on Saturday and Sunday; and
  2. Rick McGrath will once again host the Rasputin’s Folk-along Jam on Saturday between 12:30 and 2pm in the Jam Session Tent.

There is an instrument lockup available to everyone. So bring along a guitar, banjo, or fiddle and let’s jam!

Rick and I will each have a stack of clourful bookmarks to hand out that contain our entire 2011/2012 season schedule. We will also have clipboards with signup sheets so interested folk can subscribe to this newsletter. This is more of a “mobile guerilla” ad campaign compared to past years where we just sat at a table and waited to ambush passers-by. If you want to put on your Rasputin’s t-shirt and get your own clipboard sign-up sheet, just reply to this email and we’ll arrange to meet at the Festival.

Rasputin’s Beard September 17

We launch our new concert season with the no-cover, pass-the-hat, frolicking Rasputin’s Beard featuring “Fumblin’ Fingers”, “Steel Moon”, “Pouch Cotatoes”, and “Lost Colt”. August saw a lot of renovations completed at the Westboro Masonic Hall. There’s a door on the kitchen, a new double entrance to the main hall, and major renovations to the washrooms and cloakroom area.

The Next Stage

In the olden days, before the great fire, and before the wise and thoughtful master of Rasputin’s retired to academia, he would pluck promising new performers from the Open Stage and offer them a chance…often a first chance…to perform an entire set in a concert setting. Dean called this “The Next Stage”. On October 2nd Spirit of Rasputin’s is re-launching the concept. Host Wen-Jeng Chen will select three performers from the extensive and talented roster of regular Open Stage artists. He will announce his opening selection in the very near future. This event will be upstairs at Whispers Pub on the first Sunday of every month at 7pm (except July, August and holiday weekends).

Changes to the Website

  • A new page under Regular Events for The Next Stage;
  • A new calendar. The Google calendar has been retired in favour of a calendar module running in the website itself. Halleluja!! Now those of us who adminster the inter-web-bloggy-event stuff can do it all in one place.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you at the Festival.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

p.s. Don’t forget to check out the Spirit of Rasputin’s concert schedule recently posted on the website.

Announcing the 2011/2012 Concert Schedule

Diversity from home and away

Our Artistic Director, Kate Morgan, has arranged a diverse concert series focussing on rising local and regional talent as well as two nationally acclaimed groups. Most concerts will again be presented at the Westboro Masonic Hall with three exceptions. Two shows, both big acts, will be at the First Unitarian Congregation at 30 Cleary Ave because we expect to need the extra space. One show, Gil’s Hootenanny, will be at the NAC Fourth Stage on May 1st (May Day). All concerts are on Saturday evenings and start at 8 pm except the May Day hootenanny, which is on a Tuesday this year and will start at 7:30.

We also plan a holiday season “twist” on the Rasputin’s Beard concept we are calling Santa’s Beard planned for December 17. This will be a fund raising event for an as yet unnamed charity.

For your convenience, there is a “buy now” link beside most of the events with a cover charge that will take you straight to our PayPal account. Also, all the concerts with cover charges are on the Spirit of Rasputin’s e-Store webpage.

Drum roll please….here’s the lineup:

September 17, 2011 (no cover, pass-the-hat)
Rasputin’s Beard (our traditional season opener)
Featuring: “Fumblin’ Fingers (http://www NULL.fumblinfingers“, “Steel Moon (http://www NULL.steelmoonsound“, “Pouch Cotatoes”, and “Lost Colt (http://www NULL.myspace

October 22, 2011 $20 Buy Now (https://www NULL.paypal
“Hats ‘n Spats” Gala with Sheesham and Lotus
A Tribute to Dean Verger with surprise guests and music by Sheesham & Lotus (http://www NULL.sheeshamandlotus )
Here’s a Youtube of Sheesham and Lotus (http://www

November 19, 2011 $20 Buy Now (https://www NULL.paypal
Missy Burgess (http://www NULL.missyburgess and Keith Glass
Our very own “Missy” has a new CD. This is the official “CD Release Concert”

December 17, 2011 (no cover, pass-the-hat)
Santa’s Beard
Featured performers will be announced in the fall

January 21, 2012 $20 Buy Now (https://www NULL.paypal
Anders Drerup (http://www NULL.myspace with special guests Kelly Prescott (http://www NULL.myspace and Adam Puddington (http://www NULL.adampuddington

February 4, 2012 $20 Buy Now (https://www NULL.paypal
Lynn Hanson (http://www NULL.lynnehanson )
Winner 2010 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

March 10, 2012 $25 Buy Now (https://www NULL.paypal
The Creeking Tree String Quartet (http://www NULL.myspace
Twice Juno Award Nominated
Location: First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave, Ottawa

April 21, 2012 $20 Buy Now (https://www NULL.paypal
John Bowman (http://johnbowman and Amanda Rheaume (http://www NULL.amandarheaume
A shared evening with two excellent local acts.(Youtube Amanda (http://youtu (Youtube John (http://youtu

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 7:30pm MAY DAY $10
Gil’s Hootenanny sponsored by CUPE
Location: This year’s celebration of songs of protest and songs of hope is at the NAC Fourth Stage

May 12, 2012 $25
The Sultans of String (http://www NULL.maplemusic NULL.asp)
2010 JUNO Award Nominees for Instrumental Album of the Year! 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year.
Location: First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave, Ottawa

May 26, 2012 (no cover, pass-the-hat)
Chrysalis hosted by Missy Burgess
Ottawans singing other Ottawans’ songs

June 16, 2012 (no cover, pass-the-hat)
Rasputin’s Beard our traditional season closer.
Bands to be determined.

More info on some of the featured artists

Sheesham and Lotus
are based in Kingston, Ontario, Crow and Wight play fiddle and banjo respectively, with an additional array of home-made curiosities of noise-makery. Sheesham is a maker of gourd banjos and fiddles, and Lotus plays an invention called the contra-bass harmoniphoneum, which is a self-contained bass-harmonica and euphonium horn which can be used while plucking a banjo. Indeed it is a well documented fact that Sheesham and Lotus use horns for singing, harmonicas, jaw-harps and more. The music of Sheesham and Lotus could be described as American roots music. They love to play fiddle tunes, hokum blues songs and ragtime string music.

Anders Drerup,
the 26 year old singer/songwriter from Carp, Ontario, carries an impressive resume in formats ranging from reggae to classic country. He has logged tours of Europe, Australia, Cuba and Canada and has recorded in premier studios around the world. In addition to his first instrument, guitar, Anders also plays mandolin, steel guitar, banjo, harmonica, piano, bass and dobro. Kelly Prescott and Adam Puddington have graced our stage before. They have worked on numerous projects with Anders including the “Grievous Angel” theatrical concert based on the music and short life of Gram Parsons in which Kelly plays the role of Emmylou Harris.

Lynn Hanson’s
early love of jazz was later replaced by bluegrass and traditional country , while teenage years included singing and playing Neil Young songs at home. If pressed, Lynne will describe her sound as “porch music with a little Texas red dirt. I write these songs on acoustic guitar in my kitchen. I want them to sound like the original concept, except with a band. I call it porch music, as it’s like everyone in the neighbourhood comes over and brings their instruments. Lynn has a growing repretoire of three fabulous CD’s. Things I Miss, Eleven Months and her newest endeavour, Once The Sun Goes Down. “Lynne’s songs have a beautiful, haunting feeling, into which you can sink and be enveloped.” Ontario Arts Council jury

The Creeking Tree String Quartet
is atechnically dazzling outfit that uses fingerboards to leap stylistic boundaries and fuse intricate styles. The result is a smartly intellectual and yet deeply moving sound that’s a true Canadian original: jazz forms sliding over a rootsy bluegrass base, with flashes of chamber music, reverence and avant-garde experimentation. It’s the product of four adept and accomplished musicians, dedicated to performing unique and exciting material that raises the bar for instrumental acoustic music. The band’s third album “The Soundtrack” is produced by Grammy Award winning producer Bil VornDick. It was nominated for Instumental Album of the Year at the 2009 JUNO awards and won the Best Instrumental Group and the Pushing The Boundaries trophies at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

John Bowman
will be featuring songs from his debut CD,Beach on the Ocean. In the late 70’s John began to perform as a solo singer/songwriter and wrote a large number of songs. Since moving to Ottawa from Vancouver he adopted the Rasputin’s Open Stage and other open mics around town as his sounding board. He is also a consistent contributor to Writer’s Bloc. John’s songs are thoughtful, poetic and inspired commentaries on parenthood, aging, loss and love.

Amanda Rheaume’s
musical journey has taken her to Lilith Fair, alongside Sarah McLachlan, the Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls and Sheryl Crow. Her music has spanned the musical landscape of rock, pop, folk, and roots. She has returned to her roots and what makes all this extraordinary is that “Light of Another Day” is Amanda Rheaume’s first full length album.

Sultans of String,
“Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity,” thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and French Manouche Gypsy-jazz, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, while world rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Rasputin’s Beard June 25

The last event of the season is a four-band  showcase on the final Saturday of June. If you haven’t attended a Rasputin’s Beard Showcase before, this is your chance! These shows are great for the whole family…a fast paced evening featuring a wide variety of musical styles…and the price is right!!

What: Rasputin’s Beard
When: Saturday, June 25, 2011, 8pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron

NO COVER!! This is a pass-the-hat-event.

This Beard features docweissband, Scary Bear Soundtrack, Call Me Katie, and Dave Andrews.
Continue reading

Chrysalis Strikes Gold Again

What: Chrysalis 2011, with host Missy Burgess
When: This Saturday, May 28 (doors open at 7:30pm, show starts 8pm)
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron.
Cover charge: NONE!
Performers’ contact Missy to signup: (burgesm null@null algonquincollege

This is a pass-the-hat event sponsored by the members of Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society.

A chrysalis (Latin chrysallis, from Greek χρυσαλλίς = chrysallís, pl: chrysalides) or nympha is the pupal stage of butterflies. The term is derived from the metallic gold-colouration found in the pupae of many butterflies, referred to by the Greek term χρυσός (chrysós) for gold.

In true form, Missy has struck gold again this year with a line-up of 17 local musicians (at last count) who will each perform one or two songs by another local songwriter. This concept of singer-songwriters performing works not of their own pen is not only fun for the musicians, it is highly entertaining for the audience as well. You just don’t know who is going to sing what song written by whom.

In fact, the list of performers remains a mystery…those of you who signed up only know about yourselves. So just like a true golden chrysalis, there is suspense and mystery right up to the emergence and unfolding of the new wings these songs will spread.

Here’s a teaser: I’ll be there singing a song all of you know…you’ll get to sing along, but I bet it takes you a momment to recognize the song…and I bet many of you will not have known it was written by an Ottawan.

If you just want to have some fun, come join the audience this Saturday.

More info here:
The promo on the website.
The poster designed by Kate Morgan


Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Dance Alert!! Ball and Chain to open for The Echo Hunters

Spirit of Rasputin’s is pleased to announce the addition of Ball and Chain to the concert lineup for Saturday May 14th featuring The Echo Hunters from Montreal. Doors open at 7:30 pm for this event at the Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron.

Ball and Chain, a.k.a. Jody Benjamin and Michael Ball, understand the beauty of a simple style, where melody and groove can carry the music all the way to your soul. When Michael gets going on the Cajun tunes with Jody on the triangle, you can almost taste the jambalaya. They were instrumental in bringing the first outdoor dance floor to the Ottawa Folk Festival. They have held a series of Cajun dance workshops that have introduced two-stepping joy to a whole lot of Ottawans.

For this concert the Hall will be setup a little differently. In addition to the concert seating, a space for dancing will be set-off by a few cafe tables. A southern dirt floor jook joint we ain’t…but we’re gonna have a hoot anyway.

Check out the promo piece on the website. The Echo Hunters are a great band that don’t play Ottawa very often. This is a rare opportunity not to be missed. The new Rasputin’s Video Flash Mob will be setup to record one of their songs during the concert as well. This is a chance to get your applause and your hoots and hollers on YouTube!

Keep Ottawa Songs Alive

Chrysalis is back on May 28th and Missy Burgess asked me to remind you that IT’S FREE. (Did that sound like Missy? -:) We will pass the hat to defer expenses, but this is a great opportunity to see some great performers singing the songs of other Ottawa songwriters. More information along with with how to signup to perform is over here on the website…

That’s it for now.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Spirited Music is in the Air

Newsletter Subscribers: 408 Thank you for subscribing!

Spirit of Rasputin’s Members: 57 Thank you for joining!

On-line membership application form.

Before our summer hiatus, Spirit of Rasputin’s has four more events planned at the Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron…a map is here. (http://maps,+Ottawa,+ON&sll=45 NULL.427958,-75 NULL.689353&sspn=0 NULL.006114,0 NULL.013937&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ottawa+Division,+Ontario&t=h&ll=45 NULL.390792,-75 NULL.753174&spn=0 NULL.048944,0 NULL.111494&z=14) The hall has great acoustics and lots of parking.

May Day Songbooks Are Printed

The 2nd annual Songs of Protest, Songs of Hope (a.k.a. “Gil’s Hootenanny”) will be celebrated this Sunday, May 1st, at the Westboro Masonic Hall. As is now the tradition, everyone in attendance gets a souvenir songbook in exchange for their $10 admission. Most of the songs are old favourites we all love to sing, but some have a few twists on familiar themes. The entire evening will be recorded for CUPE’s and the Spirit of Rasputin’s archives. I can’t think of a better way to prepare my soul for election day! Doors open at 7. We lift our voices to the first song at 7:30. Cash bar, free inspiration.

Gil’s Hootenanny is presented in cooperation with the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Levine Family. See you there! The old Hall is going to echo with over a hundred voices.
More info here…

Speaking of Echos…
Bring Your Dancing Shoes on May 14th

I frequently describe The Echo Hunters as a cross between Neil Young and The Grateful Dead during their bluegrass phase. A few years ago they played at Rasputin’s Folk Cafe and we are all excited about their debut at Spirit of Rasputin’s. The setup for this event will be a little different…a few tables for a more cabaret feel and an area left open for dancing. You will want to dance so come prepared!! Tickets ($20) are available on-line at our e-Store, at Ottawa Folklore Centre and at Collected Works Bookstore.

More info (and audio clips) here…


On May 28th, Missy Burgess hosts this year’s Chrysalis where songs by Ottawa song writers receive new life in the hands of others. If you want to perform, simply learn a song written by someone from the Ottawa Valley (not yourself!!) and contact Missy. There is no cover charge for Chrysalis, but the Spirit “top hat” will be passed to defray expenses.
More info here…

6th Rasputin’s Beard on June 25th

We are capping off this amazing season with another Rasputin’s Beard on June 25th. The fast-paced Beard (no cover charge) showcases four bands in quick 30 minute sets. Hosted and organized by Carol Noel, this will be the sixth Beard since we launched the concept 13 months ago. Carol has three bands already lined up so there is still space for one more band to register. If you want to showcase your band, the guidelines and registration information are on the Rasputin’s Beard web page.

Don’t forget our weekly events

  • Rasputin’s Open Stage every Monday at 7pm at Whispers Pub, 249 Richmond Road, and
  • Rasputin’s Folk-along Jam every Tuesday 7pm at the Georgetown, 1159 Bank St


Hollis Morgan

President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts society

Don’t Miss David Woodhead’s Coffee House Confabulation with Cedric Smith – February 19th at 8 p.m.

Hey Folks – Get ready to “confabulate!”

This is a reminder not to miss our next exciting concert on Saturday, February 19th at 8pm.  David Woodhead – bass player for every roots JUNO winner you can think of – brings his fabulous Confabulation to the Spirit of Rasputin’s concert series. We expect the Westboro Masonic Hall at 430 Churchill to be filled to the chandeliers once  again. Joining David is actor, performer, poet extraordinaire Cedric Smith, who adds more than his weight in atmosphere and drama. Some of you may have seen their performance at Blue Skies last summer. The Confabulation is now a regular treat at Hugh’s Room in Toronto. And that treat is coming here!!
To confabulate is to engage in conversation, to talk or to fabricate imaginary experiences as compensation for loss of memory. David Woodhead’s confabulation is a unique musical experience, a unique collaboration of adventurous performance veterans with like-minded stellar young players.
Tickets are available online on our webpage at, at the Ottawa Folklore Centre at 1111 Bank Street near Sunnyside or from Collected Works at 1242 Wellington West at Holland. You can also pick them up from Heather at the Open Stage on Mondays at Whispers.  Note: tickets for our remaining concerts are also now available at these locations – we expect they will sell out quickly – so get yours now!
Lynn Stevenson
Manager, Spirit of Rasputin’s
Communications Committee

Spirit of Rasputin’s – Don’t Forget Prescott at the Westboro Mason’s Hall Tonight!

Hi Folks,

Just a reminder about the concert tonight!  I’m really looking forward to it.  Kaylen and Kelly Prescott and Adam Puddington are incredibly talented.  But then we have the added bonus of Tracey Brown and Randall Prescott joining them for the show.  It will be an Ottawa Valley event, not to be missed.

See our home page for more details (http://www NULL.rasputins

Time:                    Doors open at 7:30, concert starts at 8:00. 
Locations:           Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave at Byron.
Bus Route:          The number 2 goes to the corner of Churchill and Richmond, a short block away
Parking:               There’s a small lot surrounding the hall.   Also there’s the parking lot for the Churchill Alternative School around the corner on Ravenhill Ave.
Tickets:                $20 or $15 for students


George Laing
General Manager,
Spirit of  Rasputin’s (kgcs null@null magma
H 613 729-7252
C 613 447-4616

Spirit of Rasputin’s – Concert News!


Some exciting news regarding the Prescott concert…  As most of you know, Kelly and Kaylen, the brother and sister who make up Prescott, are carrying on a fine musical family tradition that goes back generations.  Those roots include Grandfathers Joe Brown and Irwin Prescott who are both members of the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame.  Well, the news is that Kelly and Kaylen, whose bent is towards alt-country/Americana music, will be joined on stage by their parents, Tracey Brown and Randall Prescott, who are both pillars of the Ottawa Valley country music scene.  This will be very cool!  I’m really looking forward to it.

Also, check out Ron Moores’ Back 40 radio show on CKCU at noon on Saturday, the 13th.  Kaylen and Kelly will be interviewed and may even play live on the radio.

Concert tickets are available at the Folklore Centre.  Tickets are $20 or $15 for students. 

Hope to see you at the concert on November the 20th.   (For more details go to (http://www NULL.rasputins


George Laing
General Manager,
Spirit of  Rasputin’s (kgcs null@null magma
H 613 729-7252
C 613 447-4616 (http://www NULL.rasputins

April 29, 2010

Hi Folks,

The Beard last Sunday and the Open Stage on Monday were both lots of fun.  Dancers did the two-step to the Cajun sounds of godknowswhat on Sunday and danced to Deni Kahis’ singing and drumming on Monday.  Monday was Red Bronson’s last day as our bartender, at least until the fall.  He performed with Missy Burgess and a bunch of us as part of his send off.  He also had some copies of Chloe Perault’s new CD (featuring Red on various instruments).  BTW, Monday also featured are first break-dancing, banjo-playing, scat-singer.

Don’t forget the Terry Gillespie concert the Sunday.  Also check out Terry on Chopper McKinnon’s CKCU radio show this Saturday at around 11:00 am.   Terry Gillespie will be appearing with Terry Owen (on Sax).  Terry Owen has honed his skills with some of the best R & B and Roots musicians in Canada and the United States.  His tasteful, soulful playing has enabled Terry Owen to work with a diverse range of artists including the legendary Dutch Mason, Drew Nelson, Bo Diddley, The Platters, Percy Sledge and the Grammy nominated Queen Bee and the Blue Hornet Band. The Terrys will also be joined by master hand-drummer Jeffery Grosvenor.

Continue reading

April 22, 2010

Hi Folks,

Well I just got back from my Arizona biking holiday with “the boys”.  The scenery was amazing.  Just like the old western movies.  The mountain biking was fun too, until I flew over the handle bars on the last day.  I have bruises on my bruises.  Ouch!

The Ian Tamblyn concert was a big success!  Everyone got in, it was almost sold out.  Good songs and storytelling.  Jake’s got a bunch of pictures on his website: (http://www NULL.withflare

This Sunday, we have the second Rasputin’s Beard.  Four bands, no cover.  I have never seen any of these bands, but that’s part of the fun.  If the first Beard is any indication, this Sunday will be lots of fun.

Continue reading

April 16, 2010

Hello Folks!

George Laing is basking in sunny Arizona and asked me to send you a quick update.

Tickets are still available for Ian Tamblyn with Andy Mason opening this Sunday, April 18th.  It should be a fantastic show that you won’t want to miss! – so get your’s soon – at the Elmdale or the Folklore Centre.

Speaking of great shows you may have missed – Al Wood delivered an outstanding performance in last Sunday’s CKCU Weekend Wrap-up.  Check out Dan Arnott’s review at w (http://www NULL.rasputins (http://www NULL.rasputins for a slice of  that fab evening hosted by Pat Moore. Also check out Tony Turner’s review of the highly successful 18th Annual Song-Along. Continue reading

April 8, 2010

Hi Folks,

Song A Long started last night and finishes of tonight!  Last night was very nice.  A good supportive crowd.  A casual and appreciative environment.

We had another good concert on Sunday.  Two women, Lindsay Ferguson and Emily Fennell, both with excellent voices.  We have some photos on our website and also, Jake has some on his website too (http://www NULL.withflare

This Sunday is the CKCU Weekend Wrap-up, with this month’s featured performer being Al Wood.  It should be fun.

If you haven’t been to our Spirit of Rasputin’s website recently, you should take some time and check it out.  It has been completely overhauled.  And it is really great.  I’d like to nominate it for Best Music Website in the Country!  (Maybe we have to bring back the old Razzie’s awards night.)  Our website has great photos, interesting articles and lots of info.  Much thanks to Hollis Morgan and Christian Delahousse, our web guru and web master for building this.  Also thanks to our Comms Team (Lynn Stevenson, Dan Arnott, Hazel May Lebrun, Choopy McWilliam and Jen Flynn) for content  and to Jake Morrison and Kate Morgan for photos. (http://www NULL.rasputins Continue reading

April 03, 2010

Hi Folks,

We had a lot of fun at the Rasputin’s Beard last Sunday.  Four bands, lots of energy and a juggler!  Jake has pictures… (http://www NULL.withflare NULL.html).

Don’t forget this Sunday’s Lindsay Ferguson concert with guest Emily Fennell.  Paul Symes of the Black Sheep Inn said that “Lindsay Ferguson is wild and wonderful, a professional and truly an excellent performer”.  Lindsay’s album “SOUND” was acclaimed by the Citizen as Canada’s 2nd Best album of 2007 (only after Feists “Reminder”). Continue reading

March 25, 2010

Hi Folks,

We had a really wonderful concert this past Sunday put on by Chris MacLean and her crew Fred Guignion, Stuart Watkins and Beth Cahill.   I like quoting our photographer Jake Morrison because he sees so many performances –  “the best lightly attended concert I’ve ever been to!”   Here’s some concert photos (http://www NULL.withflare .

This Sunday is the first Rasputin’s Beard. It’s the best bargain in live music!  Four bands no cover!  More details on the bands is on our website front page (http://www NULL.rasputins . Continue reading

March 11, 2010

Hi Folks,

Big news!  Calling all piano players! The piano that is being donated to the Spirit of Rasputin’s by Chrysalis (Missy Burgess), Writer’s Bloc (Tony Turner, Pat Moore), the Rasputin’s Refugees (Sjef Frenken) and the Ottawa Folklore Centre has arrived!  We will have it set up for the Monday, March 15th Open Stage and it’s inauguration.  Come on down on Monday and help us celebrate. Note that the piano will also be available for the Sunday concerts and the Tuesday jams.  Thanks again to Missy, Tony, Pat and Sjef.  This is a wonderful donation!

Continue reading